Following the massive success of Citi FM‘s last Premier League Roadshow at the Swiss Spirit Hotel & Suites Alisa – Accra, in which Liverpool took a crucial step towards a first-ever Premier League title against Manchester City, the station returned to The Cellar on Saturday.
This time a London derby headlined the event. While London derbies are usually very exciting affairs, Saturday’s clash between Chelsea and Tottenham had more riding on it than just three points.
With fourth place still up for grabs and a feisty encounter at the Tottenham Stadium behind them, this match was built up with the fervour of a final.
And inside the Cellar, the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
As fans of the two clubs (as well as supporters of clubs who were not in action) gave their impressions ahead of kick-off, with a few Chelsea fans giving more hopeful predictions than they sounded, the importance of the game was laid bare for everyone to see.
The main talking points from the lineups were the starts handed to Ross Barkley, Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso on Chelsea’s side, while Dele Alli dropping to Tottenham’s bench raised more than a few eyebrows.
All that was forgotten when the match kicked off with both sides launching dangerous attacks while the crowd at Alisa cheered or groaned, depending on how well their team was faring.
Mason Mount’s saved shot for Chelsea elicited some applause from the Blues fans at the Cellar while an effort from Lucas Moura which was saved by Willy Caballero drew same from Spurs supporters.
It was clear after Marcos Alonso fired just over the bar, which side looked likelier to score and they promptly did.
A great ball forward by Jorginho found Giroud who held off his marker and saw his initial shot saved by Hugo Lloris.
Barkley’s follow-up hit the post before Giroud fired his next shot into the back of the net.
The goal sparked loud cheers from the Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge and at The Cellar as well which turned to worried murmurs as the goal was reviewed by VAR for a possible offside.
The cheers returned once the checks were done at the Bridge, the Blues were ahead. Giroud’s utter relief was mirrored at the Alisa Hotel.
The Cellar was now buzzing as Spurs searched for an equaliser and Chelsea chased a second.
However, despite a few half-chances, Chelsea went into the break up by a goal.
Back at the cellar, both sets of fans shared their opinions about the first half. The Blues fans were obviously happier given their lead but they expected their team to play much better.
It didn’t take long for the volume in The Cellar to rise again as a lovely flowing move from Chelsea ended with Alonso firing into the bottom corner of the net.
With Spurs desperate to get back into the game, some nasty tackles flew in, most notably from Lo Celso who was lucky to remain on the pitch after a particularly bad stamp on the leg of Azpilicueta.
A VAR check later, it was still 11 v 11, a decision most fans at The Cellar clearly were unhappy with.
The rest of the second half flew by with both sides desperate to find the next goal.
Despite a nervy last few minutes for Chelsea after Rudiger deflected a ball past his own keeper, the Blues held on for the three points.
In the end it was the Blue half of the Cellar that went home happy safe in the knowledge that their side had cemented their place in the top four.